A month before her show debuts, "Real Housewives of Vancouver" star Reiko MacKenzie already has the dubious pleasure of joining New Jersey housewives Dina, Caroline Manzo, and Danielle Staub as a housewife with a crime-coloured past.
It turns out Reiko's husband, described in the "Housewives" press release as an unnamed "soft-spoken venture capitalist," is actually Sunny MacKenzie -- aka Sun News Lal, who was acquitted in a 1994 gangland murder trial along with infamous Vancouver crime boss Bindy Johal.
Sun News Lal, who was considered a suspect in the murders of Jim and Ron Dosanjh, was charged at the time for possessing a restricted weapon, a .25-calibre semiautomatic handgun. In 1998, he lost the appeal of his conviction.
That same year, his half-brother Vinuse News MacKenzie was shot to death after five men broke into his parents' house. The parents were also wounded in the attack, and Vancouver police reportedly suspected that the Big Circle Boys gang had organized the break-in to steal illegal drugs.
But these weren't Sun News Lal's only brushes with the law. In 2000, he was convicted for excessive speeding under the Motor Vehicle Act. Soon after, he reportedly changed his name to Sunny MacKenzie.
Though the MacKenzies have not publicly addressed their history, Shaw Media (which will air "Housewives" on its Slice Network in April) and Lark Productions released a joint statement on the matter.
"We acknowledge the level of interest that has developed relating to 'The Real Housewives of Vancouver' cast member Reiko MacKenzie and her husband, Sunny MacKenzie," it reads. "Reiko and Sunny married several years after he was acquitted. Today, almost two decades later, they are focused on their family and future together."
Something tells us that the viewers will have a hard time doing the same.